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Smart Dust: Communicating with a Cubic-Millimeter Computer
January 2001 (vol. 34 no. 1)
pp. 44-51

The University of California, Berkeley's Smart Dust project explores whether an autonomous sensing, computing, and communication system can be packed into a cubic-millimeter mote (a small particle or speck) to form the basis of integrated, massively distributed sensor networks. The authors selected an arbitrary size for their sensor systems to explore microfabrication technology's limitations. Because of its discrete size, substantial functionality, connectivity, and anticipated low cost, Smart Dust will facilitate innovative methods for microfabrication technology and interact with the environment, providing more information from more places less intrusively.

Smart Dust requires evolutionary and revolutionary advances in miniaturization, integration, and energy management. Designers use microelectromechanical systems to build small sensors, optical communication components, and power supplies, whereas microelectronics provides increasing functionality in smaller areas, with lower energy consumption.

Research in the wireless sensor network area is growing rapidly in academia and industry. The authors look toward programming walls and furniture, and some day even insects and dust.

Citation:
Brett Warneke, Matt Last, Brian Liebowitz, Kristofer S.J. Pister, "Smart Dust: Communicating with a Cubic-Millimeter Computer," Computer, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 44-51, Jan. 2001, doi:10.1109/2.895117
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